RUSH: Here’s a story in the New York Times today. Headline: ‘Should White House Employees Keep Their Bonuses? — The hot-button issue of year-end bonuses from firms that took bailout money may not just be a headache for Wall Street. It could also become a White House problem.’ No, it won’t. It won’t become a White House problem. ‘Several members of the Obama administration worked for financial companies that received bailout funds, raising the question of whether they should keep any bonus they received. At least three members of the still-growing team of political appointees, for example, worked at Citigroup and were eligible for year-end bonuses.
‘One of the former Citigroup executives, Michael Froman, the deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, has decided to give his bonus to charity. The White House declined to provide specific details on what the other two — the deputy Secretary of State, Jacob J. Lew, and David A. Lipton, the White House’s senior director for international economics — will do,’ regarding their bonuses. However, last night on PMSNBC David Axelrod was asked about this. MSNBC said, ‘Those people who once worked for financial firms who may be working now at the White House, some chose to give up their bonuses, but the administration didn’t force anybody who was in the position to in fact give up their bonuses. Do you know of anybody in the White House who kept their year-end bonus and is the administration rethinking its policy on that point just because of the way it looks?’
AXELROD: I don’t have encyclopedic knowledge of people’s finances and I don’t think we’re going to start sorting through everyone who’s, uh, worked here and — and examine that. We need talent that we have. Right now our problem isn’t that. Our problem is that we’ve got enormous challenges. We have to work on them all at once to get this economy moving again, and we need all hands on deck.
RUSH: So, if you’re working at the White House and you got a bonus, that’s none of the White House’s business ’cause your ‘talent’ is so needed. Just like they said that we needed the talent of the tax cheat, Timothy Geithner, who is incompetent and clueless — and if there’s anybody who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, it’s Tim Geithner. He may be in on the game, too, knowing exactly what he’s doing. I doubt the Obama administration would bring anybody in there that is not up to snuff. But see? When it’s the government — and of course the Obama supporters will say, ‘Yeah, but they’re working for government. That makes them holy! That makes them above criticism.
‘Of course they can keep their bonuses, because they gave up their wealthy positions in the private sector, Mr. Limbaugh, in order to work for the government and to help the people. So they should keep their bonuses because they’ve given up so much. They have sacrificed so much to work for the Obama administration.’ This is how the Obama crowd would react to this, and here’s Axelrod. You know, liberals are going to have rules for themselves that exempt themselves from the rules they make for us. ‘Ah, the problem isn’t these guys that got bonuses. We need the talent here! Our problem is we have enormous challenges.’ Well, so does AIG! AIG has an enormous challenge and all these Wall Street things have enormous challenges, but you certainly don’t care about robbing them of their talent.
By the way, a reminder: at the top of the next hour, Mark Levin will be here. Mark Levin will be here to discuss his new book, the title of which is Liberty and Tyranny, a conservative manifesto. Have you started reading it, Snerdley? Did you get a copy? Well, you can have mine. Once you start, you can’t stop turning the pages. As I said yesterday, throughout my entire star-studded career, I have people saying, ‘Rush, what can I go read to learn what you know? Where can I go? What books and magazines should I read to understand conservatism?’ and of course I’ve always had my list that I give them. My website, my books, the books of others. This book is a one-stop shop. This book is it. And it’s going to be a pleasure to talk to Mark about it at the top of the next hour.